Tag Archives: Kenyan government

Chinese arrested with 3kg ivory at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Kenya)

By CYRUS OMBATI, Standard Digital

January 19th 2014
NAIROBI, KENYA: A Chinese national was Saturday arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after being found with 3.4 kilograms of ivory.
The 40-year-old man was found with the lower ivory while from Napula, Mozambique to Guangzhou, China. His plane had touched down at JKIA and was to connect when he was seized.
Police said the ivory was in his luggage and had been packaged in disguise as cups.
Airport CID boss Joseph Ngisa said the arrest was made on Saturday evening and that the man will appear in court today to face charges of being in possession of the ivory.
“We are seeing an increase of these suspects originating Mozambique with the ivory but we are keen to stop the practice,” said Ngisa.
His arrest came two days after another Chinese national was arrested with ivory, leopards’ skin and multiple passports. He is believed to be behind a number of cases of smuggling of people and ivory in the country, police said.
The 41-year-old suspect was arrested at an apartment Thursday with goods valued at millions of shillings in the posh Riverside estate, Nairobi.
This comes even as Kenya and Chinese government are collaborating to fight poaching and illegal trade of wildlife.
The international trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after elephant populations in Africa dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s. Ivory trade is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). East African nations have recently recorded an increase in poaching incidents.
The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and in traditional medicines.
Africa is home to an estimated 472,000 elephants, whose survival is threatened by poaching and the illegal trade in game trophies, as well as a rising human population that is causing habitat loss. To demonstrate the seriousness and commitment to end the menace, China recently crushed six tones of the ivory.

Kenya Set to Launch Anti-Poaching Unit to Save Wildlife

Xinhua

August 5, 2013
The Kenyan government has formed an inter-agency elite unit to fight rampant poaching across the East African nation, officials confirmed on Monday.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) spokesman Paul Mbugua said the 120- member anti-poaching squad consisting personnel drawn from various government agencies will be unveiled by the Environment, Water and Natural Resources Cabinet secretary Professor Judi Wakhungu on Thursday.

“The government has formed an inter-agency elite crack unit to fight poaching. The unit will be launched possiblyon Thursday to help boost fight against poaching in frontline  areas which have been affected by poaching such as Tsavo,” Mbugua told Xinhua by telephone on Monday.

The move comes after the anti-poaching campaign “Hands off our Elephants” emphasizing conserving elephant for posterity carried out by government and conservationists.

According to statistics from the KWS, elephant poaching has grown consistently over the last three years during which 829 elephants were killed. Last year, Kenya lost 384 elephants to poachers compared to 278 in 2011 and 177 in 2010. The rest is estimated to be eliminated in the next 10 years unless stronger counter-poaching measures are taken.

Conservationists say rising demand for ivory and rhino horn in Asia is the main reason causing the poaching crisis across Africa, as the continent has witnessed loss of over 1,000 rhinos in the last 18 months.

Kenya has been identified as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa. KWS estimates that more than eight tones of raw and worked ivory have been seized since 2009.

The East African nation has also lost 21 rhinos and 117 elephants to poachers since the beginning of 2013. Out of these elephants, the spokesman said, 37 were killed in protected areas while 80 were outside protected areas.

Mbugua believed “The anti-poaching crack unit will be a big plus for KWS since it will help boost our fight against poachers.”

Wakhungu launches drive to save elephants

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Wakhungu launches drive to save elephants

Wakhungu launches drive to save elephants

Posted by: The People in National July 25, 2013

By OWINO SAMWEL

The Government has launched a campaign dubbed ‘Hands off Our Elephants’ to eradicate poaching in the country. Cabinet Secretary for Environment,Water and Natural Resources Judy Wakhungu said Government has designed plans to stop the menace which she termed as an economic crime. “We are determined to stop this evil that has affected our wildlife for a long time,” she said.

She said her ministry in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service is determined to preserve the country’s heritage. The plans include use of sniffer dogs and scanners at Mombasa port and Jomo Kenyatta Airport to identify hidden ivory. She said the new Wildlife Bill which recommends stiffer penalties for poachers will be presented to parliament.

“The Bill proposes harsh punishment for poachers, which if adopted by parliament, will reduce poaching,”she said. Statistics show 270 elephants were killed in 2011, 384 in 2012 and this trend has to stop so as to attract more tourists, she said. “Kenya has to redeem its international image by fighting poaching and we are ready to regain our lost glory.”

The campaign also includes Kenya Airways and Wildlife Direct companies that have expressed the need to save wildlife. Kenya Airways chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni said they will support the initiative until the crime is checked. “Kenya Airways will not condone poaching and any staff found invloved in ivory smuggling will face the consequences,” Naikuni warned.

Speaking at the same event,WildlifeDirect CEO Paula Kahumbu said ivory trafficking in Kenya doubles every six months but expressed optimism the campaign will stop the trend. Kenya Wildlife Service Director William Kiprono cited inadequate personnel as a major hindrance to fighting poaching but revealed they have received Sh2 million from the Government to buy equipment.

Kenya,Uganda and Tanzania are main sources of ivory while Philippine,Vietnam and Malaysia are main transit areas. China and Thailand have been identified as major ivory consumers. As the campaign is launched, former US defence attaché in Nairobi has been convicted of smuggling ivory, hours after President Obama pledged to stop wild- life trafficking. David McNevin was arrested with 21 pieces of ornately carved elephant tusks as he boarded a flight to the Netherlands, from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International airport.

This article’s link is: http://www.thepeople.co.ke/11964/wakhungu-launches-drive-to-save-elephants/